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What Is Committed Capital?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Committed capital is a term used to describe the fund that an investor has pledged as part of his or her participation in a venture capital fund. This amount is normally identified in a contract that governs the terms of the business relationship between the investor and the fund, including how that committed capital is paid into the fund. Sometimes known as commitments, the committed capital makes it easier for fund managers to assess various opportunities on behalf of all the investors involved and seek to invest the funds in a manner that generates returns for everyone concerned.

The process of delivering committed capital to a venture capital fund will vary. In some cases, the commitment must be tendered in full at the onset of the establishment of the relationship between the investor and the fund. A different approach calls for the investor to pledge or commit a specific amount that is then delivered in agreed upon increments over a period of time identified in the contract terms. With both approaches, fund managers know how much they have to work with in terms of securing investments on behalf of the angel investors, and when the money to buy into and support those investments will be available.

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While it is possible to enter into a short-term committed capital arrangement, many arrangements of this type call for a longer commitment period. It is not unusual for an investor to make this sort of commitment for a period of up to five years. During that period, the funds may be utilized for investment activity at the discretion of the fund manager, with that manager working within the parameters set by the founding documents for the fund. Typically, investors will receive ongoing reports of what is being done with the invested funds and how those investments are doing. Should the investor opt for contributing the committed capital incrementally, the fund manager will also normally provide periodic reminders that the next commitment payment is expected within a short period of time.

Depending on the nature of the venture capital schemes that the fund undertakes, investing committed capital can provide excellent results for investors. In order to assess the potential of any given fund, it is important to focus on the types of investment that the fund is likely to undertake, the level of risk that the fund is known to assume on various ventures, and how long the principal must be committed before the investor is likely to begin seeing some type of interest or dividend payments from those funds. By looking closely at the particulars associated with the fund, investors can decide if the risk is in line with the potential rewards, or if pursuing other investment opportunities would be a better approach.

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